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Mariners Moose Tracks, 5/3/17: Bullpens, Adam Jones, and Isaiah Thomas

...and Wednesday too.

MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Boston Red Sox Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Hello Mariners fans! I didn’t catch the end of yesterday’s game because it was 1am by the time the 8th inning started. But I woke up with this dreadful feeling that they had blown the 3-2 lead they were trying to nurse at the time. I was naturally bummed to discover that my intuition was correct, mostly because I hate it when the pessimistic fan in me is justified like that.

This team has a major bullpen problem. It’s one unlike we’ve seen in recent years; even when M’s teams of the last seven or eight years were terrible, they were usually pretty good at holding onto leads they had late in games. The problem was usually getting those leads in the first place. Dipoto doesn’t have the same ability to pick a decent bullpen out of thin air the way that Jack Z did. Maybe that’s something we took for granted.

And it’s annoying because there aren’t many relievers on this team I think are truly bad. But they’ve got to stop acting like they are soon because the M’s simply can’t afford to give up this many games like that. For every lead you blow, that’s another comeback you have to scrape together later in the season to make up for it (OK, that’s not exactly true statistically, but it’s a good way of thinking about it).

I was one of the main advocates for not panicking when they started 2-8, because that was extremely early. At 11-16, it’s still early. But you have to make that push above .500 eventually. And you’d like to do it sooner rather than later. Right now they’re taking two steps forward and two steps backwards; they’re 9-8 since that 2-8 start.

Things have got to improve. It all starts tonight.

Meanwhile, here are some links to distract you.

In Mariners news...

  • Jerry made a minor, under-the-radar trade yesterday.

Around the league...

  • Congratulations, Fernando!
  • Kate Preusser and Matt Ellis hopped on Short Relief with Baseball Prospectus to talk about cats and Eric Thames.
  • In case you missed it, Adam Jones was the target of racial slurs at Fenway Park. Then yesterday, Red Sox fans gave Jones a standing ovation.
  • Manny Machado gave a postgame rant on the Red Sox. Tensions between the two teams continue to build.
  • Jeff Sullivan at Fangraphs takes a look at which hitters have adjusted the most between last season and this season.
  • FOX has cancelled its baseball-slanted drama, “Pitch.” Meg Rowley talks about what the show meant to her.
  • Eno Sarris wonders if Ichiro could have been a power hitter in the majors if he had simply chosen to be.
  • Despite their early success this year, the Yankees had their smallest crowd at Yankee Stadium in 13 years.
  • Royals Review thinks it might be time for Royals fans to hit the panic button.
  • Brad Miller has stopped hitting for as much power. DRaysBay wonders if he can get it back.

Anders’ picks...

  • Isaiah Thomas scored 53 points yesterday, and said he was dedicating the game to his late sister.
  • Some scary news as it was reported that former UW basketball star Brandon Roy was injured in a shooting in California over the weekend. Hoping for a quick recovery!